Despite A Rough Couple Days…Optimism Prevails!

My She Has No Head! Hope Larson Interview from Monday stirred up quite the shit storm (I think we’re in the 170’s for comments).  I honestly still have no idea why the reaction has been as aggressive and hateful as it was, as I find nothing incendiary in the interview or Larson’s survey, but the result is it’s been a long and frustrating few days full of trolls and hate and feeling like it’s never going to get better for women in mainstream comics (as readers, creators, or characters).

So I was relieved to come up for air from whole situation and find this really great looking preview from CBR for Marvel’s upcoming Avengers Academy.  I loved these first six pages and will absolutely be picking up the first issue (due out June 9th) to see if it can continue to deliver as these first pages do.

As a sidenote, thanks to all of you who reached out to me personally in the wake of the Larson post, and to all of you what participated in a civilized and intelligent discussion – whether you agreed with what was being said by myself, Larson, or the survey or not.

Avengers Academy #1


  1. Tara’s avatar

    It was definitely a depressing response, and I really didn’t expect that response, to be honest. It’s kind of a kick to the ribs, as a girl, trying to make it in the comic industry. I haven’t made a name for myself yet, and I still have to delete comments weekly about how I’m “another terrible female cartoonist.”

    I really do hope things start to look up soon. You did a marvelous job handling all those trolls and spiteful comments–hang in there, things will be looking up soon!!

  2. Carl’s avatar

    Hi Kelly!

    As someone who procrastinates from studying by constantly refreshing the CBR page, I’m usually among the first to read your blog (and therefore, unless I make a point of doing so later, rarely view the reader reactions). Per usual, I thought it was a fantastic article and even debated posting it on facebook, which I unabashedly use as a vehicle to convince my non-comic book reading friends (i.e. ALL my friends) to give them a try. It wasn’t until I saw *this* post that I went back and read to my horror/dismay/confusion most of what was said in reaction to the Hope Larson interview.

    If you’ll allow me to take a step back for a minute… Growing up in the 90’s (I’m 25 now), I was introduced to comics through the X-Men. And one of my favorite things about the X-Men were the strong female characters (Storm, Rogue, Psylocke, hell, even Jubilee). Since then my tastes have broadened, but I still love stories that contain great female protagonists. However, it wasn’t until your “She Has No Head” column was relaunched that I began to notice how female body image is portrayed in comic books. Not because I’m insensitive to women (at least, not in this regard), but because as a gay male I never really paid attention to it. I saw their personality, not their sexuality. Also, as a man I honestly don’t know how it feels it be exposed with that body type. But as I said, it took your column to call attention to how my favorite characters were being exploited without reason.

    I also have many female friends who would love comics. *LOVE* them. But, for many of the reasons you’ve discussed in previous columns (especially the most recent), they’ve never had the right exposure or been shown just what they’re missing. I’ve made breakthroughs though. A friend loved some Jeff Lemire art I posted online, and I have another reading Scott Pilgrim. But I’m still embarrassed to show them many of the superhero books because of how women are portrayed on the covers. I hear their complaints often enough about how REAL women are dressed. I don’t want to scare them off just when I’m cracking open the door. That’s where your recommendations help tremendously. As does everything that Ms. Larson said in the interview. Women DO need to feel more included and the fact that I hardly see any in my LCS is proof of that. I said earlier that I was horrified and confused by some of the reactions to your column, but in fact I shouldn’t have been. I hear enough ignorant/horny/disgusting remarks in my LCS (and even among my med school colleagues!) that it’s not too surprising to find them online where cretins can hide behind usernames and the actual spacial distance that the internet provides.

    I’m really sorry that what was meant to be a rational and NEEDED discussion so quickly turned into… well, “shit storm” probably IS the best way to describe it. For what it’s worth, your column is *easily* in my top 5 on CBR and also a highlight of my Monday internet readings. Please keep posting insightful, interesting, inflammatory (in a good way) articles. Oh, and more posts on this blog would be awesome as well!

    Also, any chance of a team-up discussion between you and Greg Burgas? Maybe on Heralds or the final Girl Comics… or ANYTHING? Because that’d be amazing and a half. :-)

  3. marvelsmartass’s avatar


    Keep fighting the good fight. You can’t let the ignorant, the close minded and the unimaginative get you down.

    The medium of graphic storytelling is so much bigger, more embracing and more verstile (yes, I like my adjectives in threes) than tha average fanboy will allow himself to understand. Superhero comics dominated by men is one tiny corner. It’s forgotten that, at its zenith, the comic art form told every kind of story – adventure, romance, crime, literature, educational … tights, capes and big boobs may have come to dominate, but the capacity to tell a compelling and moving story with words and pictures is still very much in tact.

    I still love superheroes. But, have blissfully moved on to comics of all kinds … and I’m the better reader for it. And, as the father of two kids, you know that your perspectiuve on female portrayal (both physically and emotionally) is appreciated … and important.

    You are respected for your voice. Keep on singing. We’ll be listening.


  4. 1979semifinalist’s avatar

    Tara: Yeah, I think that was my biggest issue in a way…just that I was so surprised by the visceral and hateful response…kind of out of nowhere. It depresses me to no end to learn that you have to delete comments from your site like that..and so frequently. Terrible. What is the point of saying that someone? Ugh. You hang in there too…and thanks for the support.

    Carl: Thank you so much for the vote of confidence and support. It’s always really great to hear from people that read my column weekly and are really getting something from it…it’s the kind of stuff that make sit all worth while…so thank you!

    Sounds like (though I’m a bit older than you) that we came to comics in a very similar way (X-Men). And it’s true that because the X-men (the cartoon actually, quickly followed by the comics) had so many strong female characters that identified that it wasn’t until much later and until I was much deeper into comics that I realized some of the issues I would be dealing with daily…sounds like your experience was similar in that way as well.

    You may soon get your wish…as Greg Burgas and I are talking about maybe doing a joint podcast together…you heard it here first! :)

    Tim: Thanks so much for your support of the last few days. It really was a tough week, but the outpouring of support has been so encouraging and heartening. And has fortified my belief in the whole reason I started doing this in the first place. :)

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